Gladiator Fire threatening homes in Crown King


by Andrew Michalscheck

Video report by Crystal Cruz

Posted on May 20, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Updated Monday, May 21 at 9:49 PM

Gladiator Fire
Residences Destroyed:
Crown King, Ariz.
An Evacuation Order remains in effect for the community of Crown King. The areas of Pine Flats, Turkey Creek and Battle Flat have also been evacuated.
Sunday May 13th, 2012 approx. 11:00 AM
Human caused; originated from a structure fire on private property
Ponderosa pine and chaparral
Property at risk:
Community of Crown King, structures in Battle Flat, Pine Flats, and Turkey Creek areas, communications sites, power lines and historic sites within the Forest.
Steep, rugged, difficult access
13 Type-1 Crews, 13 Type-2 Crews, 36 Engines, 5 Dozers, 5 Type 1 Helicopters, 2 Type 2 Helicopters, 2 Type 3 Helicopters, Air Attack
Injuries :
Estimated cost:
Map: Crown King, Ariz.

View larger map

CROWN KING, Ariz. -- The Gladiator Fire is still threatening hundreds of homes, buildings, and communications towers in the Prescott National Forest.   Fire officials are telling evacuated homeowners that they have no timeline on containment.

Six homes and other buildings have burned.

As of late Monday night, the fire was 14,963 acres in size, or about 22-square miles.   It was about 19-percent contained.

Fire officials say it will take a monsoon storm to fully douse the fire.

Winds are expected to pick up Tuesday and Wednesday, creating a volatile environment and "extreme" fire behavior, according to fire fighters.

Air tankers and helicopters bombarded the mountains with water and fire retardant all day Monday, but four of the six tankers have now been diverted to other fires.   Nearly 1,200 fire fighters remain on the Gladiator.

Fire fighters call the west flank of the fire "the area of greatest concern."  They are trying to use Senator Highway as a fire line.

On Monday, ground crews completed bulldozer lines south of Battle Flat Road.  Line construction was completed around the Pine Flat and Turkey Creek areas. 

Other crews continued chipping brush along Crown King Road, and patrolling the containment lines established around the community.An evacuation order remains in effect for the community of Crown King, and the Battle Flat, Pine Flat, and Turkey Creek areas.


A California in-training hot shot crew was also threatened by the flames on Sunday. The fire unexpectedly turned on them, forcing the crew to leave some of their bags behind.

Crown King is just one of the communities that have been evacuated due to the Gladiator Fire.

Many of the evacuees have checked into a Days Inn in Prescott Valley, while others are camping, or staying with friends and family.

Residents who need a place to keep their pets can take their animals to Mayer High School where they will be looked after by volunteers.

For more information on the Gladiator Fire visit